A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Government's Hatred Of Judges

Government hates our judges in America. They don't trust them, and they blame them for the state of, well, everything. And it doesn't end there, come to Florida, whew! Our legislature has been in a battle with our Supreme Court that is only missing boxing gloves and a bell.

The problem is, governments define a bad judge as "one who does not rule they way they are supposed to rule."

The reason for this hatred is mainly because government doesn't understand nor respect the role on an independent judiciary, which has been significantly diminished in the last 20 years due to Congress believing they need to take hold of our court system.

Judges are supposed to be the independent arbiters of justice. Justice is a simple concept, it is fairness.

Fairness is what we determine in to be. If we think someone is guilty, then damn that judge who presides over the trial that finds him not-guilty (not to mention the obviously brain-dead jurors who were following instructions and actually applying the burden of proof).

If we think someone should receive a life sentence, then damn that judge that gives a 30-year sentence. And a judge better not find that a search of someones home was in violation of the Fourth Amendment, especially if there are drugs in the house. That's a no-no.

Most important, judges should never find themselves "legislating from the bench."

Have you heard that term lately? That is what extreme conservatives say when they are asked what type of judge they want on the Supreme Court. They all answer in the negative, like a church choir - "we don't want a judge who 'legislates from the bench.'" Ever notice that there is no follow-up question? This is because no one knows what that phrase means. No one.

I do, "legislating from the bench" means to interpret the Constitution in a way that violates someone's political or religious persuasion.

See, the Constitution has been interpreted for years. But if a judge interprets it in a way that creates a right for someone, that is "legislating from the bench."

So if the judges on the Supreme Court interpret the Constitution as NOT prohibiting abortion, gay marriage, or the integration of our schools, then they are "legislating from the bench."

So it is not that Congress and state legislatures hate our judges because they legislate from the bench, it is because they interpret the Constitution to afford rights to those that "they" believe should not have them.

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